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Florida Report: 2017 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers

What does the typical Fla. buyer or seller look like? Only 1 in 5 (22 percent) of buyers are first-timers compared to 34 percent in the U.S., and they're typically 45 years old.

By Toby Tobin

PALM COAST, FL – January 19, 2018 – What does the typical Fla. buyer or seller look like? Only 1 in 5 (22 percent) of buyers are first-timers compared to 34 percent in the U.S., and they're typically 45 years old.

On the other hand, the average seller is 60 years old, makes about $96,500 annually and owns a home that they think is too small.

The insights stem from the 2017 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers Florida Report issued by Florida Realtors®with data compiled by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) research department. The report can also be downloaded via the "Residential" drop-down menu on Florida Realtors' research page.

Report highlights

Florida homebuyer characteristics

  • In Florida, 22 percent of all buyers were first-timers. (Nationally, it was 34 percent.)
  • The typical Florida buyer was 54 years old and had a median income of $83,000.
  • 68 percent were married couples, 14 percent were single females, nine percent single males, and eight percent unmarried couples.
  • 15 percent of home buyers purchased a multi-generational home.
  • 88 percent of recent Florida homebuyers identified as heterosexual, four percent as gay or lesbian and less than one percent as bisexual. The rest preferred not to answer.
  • 25 percent of buyers are veterans and three percent are active-duty service members in Florida. Nationally, only 18 percent of recent homebuyers were veterans.
  • At 26 percent, the primary reason for purchasing a home was the desire to own a home of their own.

Characteristics of Florida homes purchased

  • In Florida, 18 percent of first-time buyers purchased a new home and 82 percent bought a previously owned home.
  • Why wait for a new home to be built? In Florida, 34 percent wanted to avoid renovations and problems with plumbing or electricity.
  • Why buy a previously owned home? 34 percent were looking for a better overall value.
  • 79 percent of buyers opted for a detached single-family home.
  • 21 percent bought a senior-related home.
  • The median home price was $215,000 and 97 percent of the asking price.
  • The typical Florida home purchased was 1,800 square feet and built in 1996.
  • Overall, buyers expect to live in their homes for a median of 15 years.

The home search process

  • In Florida, 42 percent of buyers looked online first and 22 percent contacted a real estate agent.
  • 81 percent found real estate agents very useful, and 83 percent said the same for websites.
  • Florida buyers typically searched for 10 weeks and looked at 10 homes. However, those who did not search the internet looked at six homes over three weeks.
  • Among buyers who used the internet, 86 percent found photos useful.
  • In Florida, 64 percent were satisfied with the buying process – a better report card for the state than the 61 percent satisfied nationally.

Home buying and Florida's real estate professionals

  • 83 percent of Floridians (86 percent nationally) purchased their home through a real estate agent or broker.
  • Why work with a Realtor? In Florida, 56 percent said it was to find the right home.
  • 36 percent of Florida buyers (42 percent nationally) used an agent referred by a friend, neighbor or relative, and 12 percent used an agent that they had worked with in the past.
  • Seven in 10 buyers interviewed only one real estate agent during their home search.
  • Eighty-nine percent of buyers would use their agent again or recommend their agent to others.

Florida sellers and the selling experience

  • The typical Florida home seller was 60 years old, with a median household income of $96,500.
  • In Florida, the top reasons for moving were retirement (15 percent), the desire to move closer to friends and family (12 percent) and a job relocation (11 percent).
  • Florida sellers typically lived in their home for 11 years before selling.
  • 90 percent of home sellers worked with a Florida real estate agent to sell their home.
  • For recently sold homes, the final sales price was a median 98 percent of the final listing price.
  • 33 percent of all sellers offered incentives to attract buyers.
  • 66 percent of Florida sellers were very satisfied with the selling process.

Sellers and Florida's real estate professionals

  • 63 percent of Florida home sellers found their agent through a referral from a friend, neighbor, or relative, or they used an agent they had worked with before.
  • 74 percent of recent Florida sellers contacted only one agent before finding the one they worked with to sell their home.
  • 93 percent of sellers listed their homes on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).
  • 81 percent of sellers reported that they provided the agent's compensation.
  • 34 percent of Florida's sellers have recommended their agent to others at least three or more times since selling their home.
  • In Florida, 67 percent said they would definitely recommend their agent for future services, and 16 percent said probably.

© 2018 Florida Realtors®. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission

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Don "Toby" Tobin is a licensed real estate professional affiliated with Grand Living Realty. Toby is a member of the Flagler County Association of Realtors®, the Florida Association of Realtors, Enterprise Flagler, Flagler Home Builders Association, and the National Association of Realtors.

GoToby.com proivdes real estate news, commentary, and analysis for Palm Coast and Flagler Country Florida, as well as Realtor® referrals and consultation to buyers, sellers, and developers.